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Monday, 20 December 2010

Santa Time

The streets are full again of children of all ages posing in front of the Tax Centre Christmas displays. This year the photographers are liveried up in Noel 2010 shirts.

Phalanx of protographers

Red velvet ropes are set up to help keep people from climbing on the polystyrene displays which have an international theme courtesy of Hitachi.

Brother and sister with photogene

Most of the Santa Babies have already learned the art of photo posing but you have to start somewhere.

Watch what mummy does

There are new Santa fashions, the halter neck tiered dress...

Santas backside

and more and more fairies.

Faries in Ho Chi Minh

The decorations are up.

Le Loi Danglers 2

The Santas on sticks have arrived.

santas on sticks

The balloons have been modeled

balloon gazing

and Mickey and Minnie are available for you in their Military Fighter helicopter.

Mickey at War

Merry Christmas from Ho Chi Minh City.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Traffic light behaviour

Just another picture of the amazing layering that takes place before your average Vietnamese girl can risk going onto her scooter.

Hello Gorgeous

This one also depicts the "sunny day traffic light strategy" - wait for the lights to change in the nearest patch of shade which might be some distance away and will be popular. On dull days or at nights it's full steam ahead to get as close to the lights as possible

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Vincom Centre, Mall life reaches Saigon

The new mega-flash mall has opened complete with an Armani Caffe and a Jimmy Choo. It's all very impressive down Dong Khoi these days.

Vincom Centre

Stepping inside is like being transported to Singapore but there are significantly low numbers of shopping bags being carried around. On my last two visits the most popular activity was from groups posing for photographs outside shops. There's shopping going on, I'm sure, but not on a Singaporean scale. On the other hand, La Senza had completely sold out of medium sized knickers so some are doing well.

Bud's Ice Cream Vincom Centre

Not such great mall news from Phu My Hung where the wedding cake styled Paragon mall closed with little or no warning. It's always been a bit of a ghost mall in there. Completely unsubstantiated rumour which is likely to be entirely wrong, has it that Parkson will be moving in. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Holland Village Saigon

Holland Village came to Saigon, an exhibition of all things Dutch. They set up in the park near the Ben Thanh roundabout. I took a wander through during the day when the finishing touches were being made.

Windmill and Bitexco
Bitexco Tower with Windmill in front, an odd juxtaposition.

Setting up lights for the Dutch Exhibition

The finishing touches being put to the lighting rig, as always not a hard hat or harness in sight.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Red Saigon

Red Saigon mosaic

It's been a while since I posted. Here's the Red Saigon version of the Blue Singapore shots I did a while back. I have some time on my hands now so more posting should follow.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Singapore Blues

I went to Singapore and took pictures of blue things.
Singapore Blues
There was some shopping and eating too, but mainly taking pictures of blue things, maybe Saigon Reds is next.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Phnom Penh

Phom Penh attractions

We made a quick visit to Phnom Penh at the end of the summer break simply because we had a few days spare and hadn't been there for over two years. The broad walkways along riverside are now fully completed and make for a pleasant strolling area despite the current threat of brick attacks which started to be reported during our time there.

Having seen most of the usual attractions, rifle range excluded, it was an excuse to do a little browsing, a little cafe time, eat some pretty good food, hit the second hand bookshops and settle in for the remainder of the break with a cool drink.

Summer reading

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Delivery Driver


I have absolutely no idea what is in the boxes, Google couldn't help me but it's gratifying to see that they come in different sizes.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Backpacker Bingo Burma Style

A change from the non la, the flag t-shirts and the erroneous ao dai but still the fun continues. Spotted in Myanmar we have:

The matching pair - extra points for this - longyi and "ethnic" shirt combo's coupled with matching beards. I give myself additional extra marks for them having the poor taste/confidence to actually wear these to the airport. Spotted in international departures in Yangon.

backacker bingo double bubble

Wandering the temples of Bagan I came across this example; longyi, "ethnic" shirt and thanaka, I like to think he was haggling over the cost of a lovely hat to set off his outfit perfectly. He was in the company of another two similarly attired backpackers but they were cunning and I could never get them all together in the one frame.

Backpacker bingo longyi and thankaka Bagan cropped

Cambodia next, rich hunting grounds I think.

Yangon, Myanmar

There are no motorbikes in Yangon, they are banned. Coming straight from HCMC that took a bit of getting used to. Lots to see and find out. The danger of asking direct questions had been impressed on me but it didn't take much powers of detection to read between the carefully chosen lines of taxi drivers and temple guides.

Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the city, it's breathtaking

Shwedagon main stuppa

Shwedagon with child

Spires Shwedagon

Elsewhere the reclining Buddha is stunning

Reclining Yangon

The harbour is worth a look

Harbour Yangon

The taxis are great feats of keeping things together, this is my favourite makeshift seat of the entire trip, our regular taxi had nice matching lino on the floor in a tastefull wood grain but that was no competition for the deck chair guy.

Rangoon Taxi

A great starting off point, well about the ONLY starting off point for a trip to Myanmar. We flew via Bangkok because the Vietnam Airlines flights only go via Hanoi at the moment making a longer and more expensive option. Visas on arrival worked well, there was a wait of about 45 minutes and minimum commotion.

Bagan, Myanmar

It's all about stuppas:

Temple vista at sunset Bagan

Thousands of them

Stuppas soft light

Ploughing with oxen in Bagan, Myanmar

Main temple Bagan stuppa, Myanmar

Birds around stuppa Bagan

and Buddhas of course

Grin and gilded, Bagan, Myanmar

reclining and encarcerated

Sleepy smiling Buddha

And some goats.

Goatherd Bagan
Amazing and exhausting and well worth visiting.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Myanmar, Inle Lake

Feeling a bit out templed after the visits to Yangon and Bagan we spent a day just lazing on the deck of our hotel room and taking advantage of the spa treatments and books before taking in the attractions that Inle has to offer. In truth some of the nicest things are sitting quietly and listening to the silence or glow worm spotting but they don't make good pictures so here are some other attractions.

The deck where the lazing took place
Inle Princess Hotel deck.

The pace of life is slow and hanging about seems to be a bit of a local passtime, not that I'm complaining.


Waiting at the boat park on market day

Of course floating and rowing is a big part of life too.

Floating Monks on Inle Lake

boatmen b&w

Punks Not Dead

The biggest draw is the Leaping Cat Monastery where, it is alleged, lots of cats leap through hoops. Maybe they do in the high season but we saw one half hearted leap.

leaping cat

Sleeping Cat Monastery seems a more appropriate name

sleeping cat in monastry

sleeping cat monastry

However, it's a beautiful building and the views from the walkways are lovely

floating gardens Inle

And if you really need your cat fix you can visit a stilted cat centre where they are reintroducing the Burmese cat. They're friendly and will happily climb on you and purr like small outboard motors. Meals and coffees are served here too.

Burmese cats in Myanmar, Inle Lake

If cats aren't your thing what about a pig?

Pork Luncheon Eat

Pigs - usually found around the edges of markets for a purpose unknown and unexplored. I particularly liked the ubiquitous Myanmar Shopping Bag.

Shopping baskets at the market Inle Lake

and the dragonflies

dragonfly Inle

and the buildings

Inle domestic scene

and the twilights

Inle twilight

Safe to say, I liked it all, if you haven't had enough of other people's holiday snaps feel free to click on through to flickr where there are more, oh so many more.